Thursday, 20th February, 2020


Political parties and their operating system equivalents

01, Feb 2014 By yamaloka

Every political party in India has its own unique features, just like an operating system. On basis of their attributes, Faking News brings to you brief analogies between them:

ideologically different
Ideologically different

Congress: The Congress is like a mainframe operating system – no one knows for sure what OS it is exactly, but everybody guesses something is surely churning away back there, somewhere far away, which again nobody knows where exactly.

It seems to be running everything, everywhere. It is part of the infrastructure, whether one likes or not. It is big, bulky, legacy and unabashedly corporate. Only suits and VIP are allowed to work with it. Even the severest of crashes that costs crores of rupees and thousands of human lives are called ‘glitches’. It is unrepentant and smug, banking on history, and penetration.

BJP: The BJP is like UNIX. It started out as a rebel against the big bad corporate mainframes but soon got consumed by its own greatness. It became the very corporation it rebelled against. It promises the user a lot of power, only if they abide by and surrender to its unbending environment and philosophy. ‘Real users use keyboards’ is what it says.

It absolutely hates anything that resembles a GUI. It loathes mouse. It is arrogant, also unrepentant and cozy, banking on the fact that it is the backbone of virtually every network. It has brought down big networks several times. It smirks at that fact.

Samajwadi Party: The Samajwadi Party and the Janata Dal United are like Linux. They basically shared the Unix motivation but didn’t like the Unix’s unbending philosophy. They went their own way becoming a UNIX like OS. Most people don’t know that it was an obscure toy OS called Minix that made it possible for Linux to come into existence.

They claim inclusive development, where anyone can contribute to the overall growth of everybody. They are far more user friendly than Unix while having all the power of Unix. There is much too confusion within, resulting in several variations, each claiming the coveted spot of being the OS.

Many versions are mutually incompatible. And every distribution, as it is called, has become a miniature corporate itself – controlling the features, updates etc. Many times useless and pointless features are claimed as innovations. Although they passionately claim theirs is a wonderful platform, nobody has seen anything worthy done on it.  But that is alright. They have a niche group that is very faithful. They are happy catering to that group and don’t have any intention of a bigger market share. And that group is quite happy with crap.

Communists: The Communists are an interesting group. They are more fiercely fundamental. They want everything to be done on a single board computer with an 8085 running a monitor program that takes input in hexadecimal that makes DOS look awesome.

This, they say, is the way people would be free from the corporate clutches. “It works flawlessly in a lab of 9 students, so it must surely work beautifully for every computer user”, they posit. They want to build an OS from ground up. As part of that endeavor, they have a beautifully written ‘hello world’ and as of now are busy working on their second program – displaying the user’s name instead of ‘world’ with the greeting. They keep telling how once they are done with the OS it will take over the world and make it a better place.

AAP: While all these were slugging it out, a new form of computers made way and needed a new kind of operating system. In comes AAP – An Android Party. It promised things that people couldn’t even imagine was possible till then. The biggest claim was it would be virus free, unlike older systems, because every app had to declare its permissions. This was completely revolutionary.

Of course, the fact that this is controlled by another corporate is a different matter. And that this corporation knows your every move is a small detail not be concerned with. They started out with ‘don’t be evil’ as their motto, just for the record. The fact that Android is really Linux at its core shouldn’t be surprising as the chief developer was from Linux school of thought. It is too early to say anything but one thing is for sure – the updates are lagging behind.

Few other analogies

The NGOs, lobby groups and all the various civil society organizations bearing such tags in their names as ‘strategic’, ‘analysis’, ‘public policy’ etc,  are like Windows. They bought DOS which was written for 8086, much like the communists’ OS, and got creative with it. They put in a nice looking GUI, unlike no other, and suddenly people flocked to it. It seemed to be able to do what the other OS weren’t able to do – it certainly could do if it takes a break from crashing. An extremely buggy OS like no other has managed to make a huge mark for itself and capture an immense market share. People are unreasonably romantic about it. And of course, it is controlled by a corporation which often does more harm than good. There is still a lot more to be said, but I’ll leave it at this.

The intellectuals – fellows of reputed international societies, historians, sociologists, political commentators etc connected with such organizations or otherwise – are the Macs of the political framework. They are too cool to get into the fray. They live in their own bubble. They rather tweet and/or write op-eds, furiously.

The journalists are the companies that carry out marketing and sales for the OSes. Every company has every OS as its client but only one is made its star client.  Sometimes, depending on the market mood, it shift camps too. No one is sure which company uses which OS internally for their mundane tasks, and is a matter of much debate.

(also read this one from FN 2.0)